Although human dissection began to be systematically practiced in Italy in the early 14th century, it was not immediately embraced across Europe. This prompted Guido da Vigevano to produce a series of seventeen illustrations included in his Book of Notable Matters commissioned for King Philip VII of France. Guido explains that his purpose is to “plainly and openly demonstrate the anatomy of the human body through illustrations” (trans. Wallis), which he envisions as useful because of the both transient and controversial nature of human dissection. The images progressively unpeel layers of the body, offering views of different groupings of organs. In the eighth image, pictured here, both the abdominal and thoracic cavities are opened, revealing the digestive organs below and the heart and lungs above, separated by the diaphragm. In the subsequent figure, the heart and lungs are removed, revealing the previously obscured esophagus and its connection to the stomach.